Natures of Colonial Change
Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Ohio University Press
Series: New African Histories
There are many ways to measure how much has gone into this book’s development, but I’ll start with the personal. When I first visited South Africa and the Transkei in 1992—a trip that really sparked my interest in pursuing historical research on the Eastern Cape—I was also intensely curious about ...
Introduction: Colonial and Environmental Histories, Past and Present
In the decade or so since the formal unraveling of apartheid in South Africa, some of the nation’s most persistent and intractable tensions have revolved around natural resources. In the territories formerly managed by successive white governments as African labor “reserves,” “Bantustans,” or “homelands,” ...
1. Tensions in the Colonial Restructuring of Local Environmental Authority,1880–c. 1915
As the colonial government appropriated Transkeian resources through annexation and the establishment of new administrative institutions, intense disputes emerged over the nature and scope of environmental authority. Paramount chiefs were demoted, commoner headmen were elevated ...
2. Environmental Entitlements in the New Colonial Order,1888–c. 1905
Alongside the political machinations surrounding the authority structures of resource management, the implementation of colonial forest restrictions entailed complex negotiations within and between African communities and government circles over environmental entitlements. Forest officials, ...
3. Shifting Terrains of Wood Access in the Early Twentieth Century, 1903–1930s
Beginning in the 1900s, particular changes in the scope and nature of colonial forest control more extensively shaped Africans’ experiences of wood access across the Transkei. Finally enjoying a more secure position in the colonial bureaucracy, the Forest Department garnered stronger administrative ...
4. Remapping Historical Landscapes: Forest Species and the Contours of Social and Cultural Life
There were many realities shaping Africans’ experiences of and responses to resource access in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries outside of the colonial changes to political economies and ecologies described thus far. People participated in and adjusted to complex social and cultural ...
5. The Python and the Crying Tree: Commentaries on the Nature of Colonial and Environmental Power
Exploring in detail the negotiated cultural meaning of particular landscapes in the early colonial Transkei is often difficult. Oral sources provide crucial insights into local perspectives on the cultural significance of various forest resources and the history of state resource interventions, yet their ...
The various historical developments and processes described in this book—from people contending with political-ecological restructuring and gendered changes in economies and entitlements to the meaning and use of resources in diverse social and cultural practices—reveal many linked ...